Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Europol Warns Europe Of Pending Terrorist Attack, Islamic State Has Breached Saudi Borders, Market Crash Looming,

Europol Warns Europe Of Terrorist Attack Threat By Weekend

Greek police has received an urgent warning from Europol about the possibility of a terrorist attack in one of the European countries, with most likely targets being Belgium, Holland and Great Britain.

According to Skai TV, the telex notice warning of the attack before January 17 has been sent to a number of European countries, with most likely targets being Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

"The terrorist attack is being prepared by four or five Islamists based in a European country. The warning contains the names of suspected terrorists, who are assumed to have accomplices in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Russia," Skai TV said.

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency assisting EU's member states in their fight against serious international crimes and terrorism.

Earlier on Tuesday, Europol Director Rob Wainwright said that as many as 5,000 European citizens have traveled to the Middle East to fight alongside local extremist militias and could return home to carry out attacks similar to those in Paris.

A huge number could have become radicalised after training with the so-called Islamic state in Syria where militants are determined to bring terror to the west. 

Europol, the continent's crime agency, have collected the names of 2,500 suspected extremists from agencies from the European Union (EU).

They warned the potential terrorists are mainly young men who went overseas and could return home to carry out attacks similar to those seen in Paris last week where 17 people were murdered. 

Discussing how many foreign fighters had left Europe, Europol director Rob Wainwright said: "We're talking about 3,000-5,000 EU nationals.

"Clearly, we're dealing with a large body of mainly young men who have the potential to come back and have the potential or the intent and capability to carry out attacks we have seen in Paris in the last week."

And while the world’s media focused on the events of Charlie Hebdo tragedy, it has simply ignored the terrorist attacks in the Middle East. Moreover, this very attacked has highlighted a major shift in the situation in the region, putting the primary strategic partner of the US in the Arab world – Saudi Arabia at risk. And here’s why:

Early on January 5 four ISIL militants crossed the border of Saudi Arabia in the Northern Province area near the town of Arar border, on the path of the hajj to Mecca from Iraq, Iran and the republics of the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia. Therefore this area is not some deserted spot on the map, in fact it’s a busy intersection of different roads of the kingdom. On the Iraqi side of the border this area is inhabited mainly by Shiites, therefore there’s a number of Saudi units provided with armed aircraft stationed there to defend the border, this very group was reinforced when the Islamic Caliphate was proclaimed at the territory of Iraq.

During a shootout with the Saudi border patrol that broke out when the militants attacked a checkpoint, one of the terrorists was killed while the other detonated an explosive belt, killing three Saudi soldiers including Brig. Audah Al-Balawi, a commander in the Northern Border Region. The remaining two militants were then hunt down and killed. Soldier found automatic weapons, hand grenades, explosive belts and significant amounts of money on the dead bodies.

The attack on the border checkpoint near the town of Arar means that now ISIL has officialy started assaulting Saudi Arabia not only by conducting terrorist attacks in the kingdom, as it had been the case until recently when ISIL militants shot Saudi Shiites dead at the front steps of mosques in the Eastern Province, but by direct military engagements from Iraqi territory, even despite the fact that those areas are theory controlled by the Iraqi government forces. It’s also a puzzling fact a Saudi General was among the dead soldiers, since it’s highly doubtful that one would participate in such an operation. Saudi authorities are clearly hiding something.

It is understandable – after all, King Abdullah is at his last legs in hospital, and the question of the possible successor in the most important country of the regionf for the US interests in the Arab world is as pressing as it could be. So why are the world’s media, especially th Western ones, trying to downplay these events? As a matter of fact this attack means that the Islamic Caliphate has virtually breached the border of Saudi Arabia, even it was for a few hours. This is a worrying trend indeed, especially now when the kingdom plays against the global energy market by persistently reducing the price of oil in favor of Washington to deliver a blow to the economies of Russia, Iran and Venezuela. But it doesn’t seem that the local elites are contended with this fact while their revenues crumble.

In any case, things are looking grim for the Saudi authorities, given the fact that a total of 5 to 7 thousand Saudi citizens are fighting under the Islamic State banner. Moreover they do find a lot of sympathy among the Saudi population, especially among young people. According to some polls, 80% of the Saudi youth of Saudis is sympathetic with the Islamic State. This basically means that at any given moment they are ready to join the ranks of the Caliphate should a massive invasion against the KSA be launched. And it won’t take long especially if King Abdullah passes away and his descendants will be busy fighting for the throne.

It’s no coincidence that a massive group of American “advisers” from the USA, namely the NSA, CIA and the Pentagon agents have been in Saudi Arabia for two weeks now, trying to devise a mechanism that would enable a peaceful transfer of power. Hence, this whole story doesn’t smell good. Should ISIL militants invade Saudi Arabia while there’s no King in Saudi Arabia – the outcome will certainly be disastrous, since the country can fall apart in 3-4 pieces, including the break away of the Shiite districts of Eastern Province to the adjacent Yemen, where the majority of the population is Shiite too.

But the West reminds an ostrich with its head buried deep in the sand, trying to hide a possible ISIL offensive behind a multi-million march in Paris.

Recent events, such as the overthrow of the government in Ukraine, the secession of Crimea and its decision to join the Russian Federation, the subsequent military campaign against civilians in Eastern Ukraine, western sanctions against Russia, and, most recently, the attack on the ruble, have caused a certain phase transition to occur within Russian society, which, I believe, is very poorly, if at all, understood in the west. This lack of understanding puts Europe at a significant disadvantage in being able to negotiate an end to this crisis.

Whereas prior to these events the Russians were rather content to consider themselves “just another European country,” they have now remembered that they are a distinct civilization, with different civilizational roots(Byzantium rather than Rome)—one that has been subject to concerted western efforts to destroy it once or twice a century, be it by Sweden, Poland, France, Germany, or some combination of the above. This has conditioned the Russian character in a specific set of ways which, if not adequately understood, is likely to lead to disaster for Europe and the world.

Since this subject is of overwhelming complexity, I will focus on just four factors, which I find essential for understanding the transformation we are currently witnessing.

This part almost writes itself. It's a recipe for disaster, so I'll write it out as a recipe.

1. Take a nation of people who respond to offense by damning you to hell, and refusing to having anything more to do with you, rather than fighting. Make sure that this is a nation whose natural resources are essential for keeping your lights on and your houses heated, for making your passenger airliners and your jet fighters, and for a great many other things. Keep in mind, a quarter of the light bulbs in the US light up thanks to Russian nuclear fuel, whereas a cut-off of Russian gas to Europe would be a cataclysm of the first order.

2. Make them feel that they are being invaded by installing a government that is hostile to them in a territory that they consider part of their historical homeland.The only truly non-Russian part of the Ukraine is Galicia, which parted company many centuries ago and which, most Russians will tell you, “You can take to hell with you.” If you like your neo-Nazis, you can keep your neo-Nazis. Also keep in mind how the Russians deal with invaders: they freeze them out.

3. Impose economic and financial sanctions on Russia. Watch in dismay as your exporters start losing money when in instant retaliation Russia blocks your agricultural exports. Keep in mind that this is a country that, thanks to surviving a long string of invasion attempts, traditionally relies on potentially hostile foreign states to finance its defense against them. If they fail to do so, then it will resort to other ways of deterring them, such as freezing them out. “No gas for NATO members” seems like a catchy slogan. Hope and pray that it doesn't catch on in Moscow.

4. Mount an attack on their national currency, causing it to lose part of its value on par with a lower price of oil. Watch in dismay as Russian officials laugh all the way to the central bank because the lower ruble has caused state revenues to remain unchanged in spite of lower oil prices, erasing a potential budget deficit. Watch in dismay as your exporters go bankrupt because their exports are priced out of the Russian market. Keep in mind, Russia has no national debt to speak of, runs a negligible budget deficit, has plentiful foreign currency reserves and ample gold reserves. Also keep in mind that your banks have loaned hundreds of billions of dollars to Russian businesses (which you have just deprived of access to your banking system by imposing sanctions). Hope and pray that Russia doesn't put a freeze on debt repayments to western banks until the sanctions are lifted, since that would blow up your banks.

5. Watch in dismay as Russia signs major natural gas export deals with everyone except you. Is there going to be enough gas left for you when they are done? Well, it appears that this no longer a concern for the Russians, because you have offended them, and, being who they are, they told you to go to hell (don't forget to take Galicia with you) and will now deal with other, friendlier countries.

6. Continue to watch in dismay as Russia actively looks for ways to sever most of the trade links with you, finding suppliers in other parts of the world or organizing production for import replacement.

But now comes a surprise—an underreported one, to say the least. Russia has just offered the EU a deal. If the EU refuses to join the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US (which, by the way, would hurt it economically) then it can join the Customs Union with Russia. Why freeze yourselves out when we can all freeze out Washington instead? This is the restitution Russia would accept for the EU's offensive behavior with regard to the Ukraine and the sanctions. Coming from a customs state, it is a most generous offer. A lot went into making it: the recognition that the EU poses no military threat to Russia and not much of an economic one either; the fact that the European countries are all very cute and tiny and lovable, and make tasty cheeses and sausages; the understanding that their current crop of national politicians is feckless and beholden to Washington, and that they need a big push in order to understand where their nations' true interests lie... Will the EU accept this offer, or will they accept Galicia as a new member and “freeze out”?

With the debt obligations of the United States at over $118 trillion dollars, it has become obvious that the collapse of our economic powerhouse, starting with the U.S. dollar, is a foregone conclusion. While it's impossible to predict when such an event will occur or what the final trigger will be, at this point, it won't take much to send the whole thing tumbling down.
And when it finally does happen, as noted in the short video report fromFuture Money Trends, the resulting shift to a new system could very quickly devolve into the worst of what humanity has to offer.

A major market bubble is brewing…
The entire monetary system is dollar based. So even though the U.S. is running around bankrupt this will continue until the world is ready for a massive shift to a new system – something that could cause riots worldwide, wars and extreme volatility in markets… even a global depression.
The dollar paradigm will likely be postponed for as long as possible, but have no doubt, the end of dollar dominance will happen in our lifetimes.

We can only support this debt-based behemoth for so long. The jig is already up, in fact, but countries like Russia, China, and the BRICS nations can't pull the plug just yet because doing so will crush their existing trading mechanisms, many of which are dependent on the U.S. dollar. But what these countries have going for them is that they are actively moving to minimize their dependency on the United States and the dollar's reserve currency status.

When it finally does happen and our foreign lenders pull the plug we are going to see catastrophic world-wide ramifications. Everyone is going to be hurting – but the United States is going to take the brunt of the hit.
It's quite simple, really. When we can no longer borrow money, it's over.
Even the U.S. Treasury has acknowledged and warned of the disastrous consequences that will follow the day the credit card is maxed out and we can't pay the bills:
"In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not justfinancial markets but also on job creation, consumer spending and economic growth," the report said.
"Credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, US interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse."
"Considering the experience of countries around the world that have defaulted on their debt, not only might the economic consequences of default be profound, but those consequences, including high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments, and slow economic growth, could last for more than a generation," the report states. 

As you can imagine, elite Western banking conglomerates and business interests won't go down quietly. History has proven time and again that shifts of this magnitude are wrought with violence, poverty, widespread despair, and often end in massive military confrontations.

If you were waiting for a “black swan event” to come along and devastate the global economy, you don’t have to wait any longer.  As I write this, the price of U.S. oil is sitting at $45.76 a barrel.  It has fallen by more than 60 dollars a barrel since June.  There is only one other time in history when we have seen anything like this happen before.  That was in 2008, just prior to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  But following the financial crisis of 2008, the price of oil rebounded fairly rapidly.  As you will see below, there are very strong reasons to believe that it will not happen this time.  And the longer the price of oil stays this low, the worse our problems are going to get.  At a price of less than $50 a barrel, it is just a matter of time before we see a huge wave of energy company bankruptcies, massive job losses, a junk bond crash followed by a stock market crash, and a crisis in commodity derivatives unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  So let’s hope that a very unlikely miracle happens and the price of oil rebounds substantially in the months ahead.  Because if not, the price of oil is going to absolutely rip the global economy to shreds.
What amazes me is that there are still many economic “experts” in the mainstream media that are proclaiming that the collapse in the price of oil is going to be a good thing for the U.S. economy.
The only precedent that we can compare the current crash to is the oil price collapse of 2008.  You can see both crashes on the chart below…

If the price of oil makes a major comeback, the carnage will ultimately not be that bad.
But if it stays at this level or keeps going down for an extended period of time, it is inevitable that a whole bunch of those firms will go bankrupt and their debt will go bad.
That would mean a junk bond crash unlike anything that Wall Street has ever experienced.
And as I have written about previously, a stock market crash almost always follows a junk bond crash.
These are things that happened during the last financial crisis and that are repeating again right in front of our eyes.
Another thing that happened in 2008 that is happening again is a crash in industrial commodity prices.
At this point, industrial commodity prices have hit a 12 year low.  I am talking about industrial commodities such as copper, iron ore, steel and aluminum.  This is a huge sign that global economic activity is slowing down and that big trouble is on the way.
So what is driving this?  The following excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article gives us a clue…

Globally there are over $9 trillion worth of borrowed US Dollars in the financial system. When you borrow in US Dollars, you are effectively SHORTING the US Dollar.
Which means that when the US Dollar rallies, your returns imploderegardless of where you invested the borrowed money (another currency, stocks, oil, infrastructure projects, derivatives).
Take a look at commodities. Globally, there are over $22 TRILLION worth of derivatives trades involving commodities.ALL of these were at risk of blowing up if the US Dollar rallied.
Unfortunately, starting in mid-2014, it did in a big way.
This move in the US Dollar imploded those derivatives trades. If you want an explanation for why commodities are crashing (aside from the fact the global economy is slowing) this is it.

The fundamentals for the price of oil are so much worse than they were back in 2008.
We could potentially be looking at sub-$50 oil for an extended period of time.
If that is indeed the case, there will be catastrophic damage to the global economy and to the global financial system.
So hold on to your hats, because it looks like we are going to be in for quite a bumpy ride in 2015.

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