Posts tagged attack
Israeli facilities in North America — and around the world — are on high alert, according to an internal security document obtained by ABC News that predicted the threat from Iran against Jewish targets will increase.
“We predict that the threat on our sites around the world will increase … on both our guarded sites and ‘soft’ sites,” stated a letter circulated by the head of security for the Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic States. Guarded sites refers to government facilities like embassies and consulates, while ‘soft sites’ means Jewish synagogues, and schools, as well as community centers like the one hit by a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.
The head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, told an audience at a closed forum in Tel Aviv recently that Iran is trying to hit Israeli targets because of what it believes are Israeli attacks on it nuclear scientists. Yoram Cohen said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the same militant wing of the government linked to the recent alleged plot against the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., is working tirelessly to attack Israeli and Jewish targets abroad in order to deter Israel.
“In the past few weeks, there has been an escalation in threats against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world,” one regional document noted. “Open source has reported many demonstrations against Israel are expected to be concentrated on Israeli embassies and consulates. Such demonstrations have occurred internationally as well as domestically. These demonstrations could potentially turn violent at local synagogues, restaurants, the Israeli Embassy and other Israeli sites. … Law enforcement should be vigilant when making periodic checks at all Jewish facilities.
Local and regional law enforcement and intelligence officials in U.S. and Canadian cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Toronto have been monitoring the situation closely for several weeks, and have stepped up patrols at Israeli government locations and Jewish cultural and religious institutions. They have issued awareness bulletins reminding officers to stay vigilant.
Federal officials in those cities told ABC News that they have also increased their efforts to watch for any threat stream pointing to an imminent attack on either Israeli facilities, Jewish cultural or religious institutions or other “soft targets.”
“When there is posturing like this, we always pay extra attention to any threat streams,” one federal official said.
“The thwarted assassination plot of a Saudi official in Washington, D.C., a couple of months ago was an important data point,” added the official, “in that it showed at least parts of the Iranian establishment were aware of the intended event and were not concerned about inevitable collateral damage to U.S. citizens had they carried out an assassination plot on American soil.”
“That was an eye opener, showing that they did not care about any collateral damage,” the federal official said. source – ABC News
There, he said it
US secretary of defense is concerned Israel will launch an attack before Iran enters so-called “immunity zone” when military strike won’t bust Iran’s nuclear facilities, ‘Washington Post’ reports.
United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta believes that Israel will attack Iran in April, May or June, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
According to the report, written by the paper’s senior opinion writer David Ignatius, Panetta is concerned that Israel will launch an attack before Iran enters the so-called “immunity zone” when its nuclear facilities will be heavily fortified and a military strike will no longer succeed.
Ignatius does not quote Panetta in the article but he is currently traveling with the secretary of defense in Brussels.
According to the article, Israel might decide to strike before Iran completes the fortification since afterward only America will be capable of stopping Iran militarily.
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action,” Ignatius wrote. According to the report, Israel’s strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities could last five days which would be followed by a United Nations-brokered ceasefire. source – JPost
Knowing the time
“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4
As the Sabbath evening approached on Jan. 13, Ehud Barak paced the wide living-room floor of his home high above a street in north Tel Aviv, its walls lined with thousands of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and poetry to military strategy.
Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is the most decorated soldier in the country’s history and one of its most experienced and controversial politicians. He has served as chief of the general staff for the Israel Defense Forces, interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister.
He now faces, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and 12 other members of Israel’s inner security cabinet, the most important decision of his life — whether to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran. We met in the late afternoon, and our conversation — the first of several over the next week — lasted for two and a half hours, long past nightfall.
“This is not about some abstract concept,” Barak said as he gazed out at the lights of Tel Aviv, “but a genuine concern. The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map.”
When I mentioned to Barak the opinion voiced by the former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and the former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi — that the Iranian threat was not as imminent as he and Netanyahu have suggested and that a military strike would be catastrophic (and that they, Barak and Netanyahu, were cynically looking to score populist points at the expense of national security), Barak reacted with uncharacteristic anger.
He and Netanyahu, he said, are responsible “in a very direct and concrete way for the existence of the State of Israel — indeed, for the future of the Jewish people.” As for the top-ranking military personnel with whom I’ve spoken who argued that an attack on Iran was either unnecessary or would be ineffective at this stage, Barak said: “It’s good to have diversity in thinking and for people to voice their opinions. But at the end of the day, when the military command looks up, it sees us — the minister of defense and the prime minister. When we look up, we see nothing but the sky above us.”
Netanyahu and Barak have both repeatedly stressed that a decision has not yet been made and that a deadline for making one has not been set. As we spoke, however, Barak laid out three categories of questions, which he characterized as “Israel’s ability to act,” “international legitimacy” and “necessity,” all of which require affirmative responses before a decision is made to attack:
1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can the military and the Israeli people withstand the inevitable counterattack?
2. Does Israel have overt or tacit support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?
3. Have all other possibilities for the containment of Iran’s nuclear threat been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort? If so, is this the last opportunity for an attack?
For the first time since the Iranian nuclear threat emerged in the mid-1990s, at least some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes.
Click here to read the full story from the New York Times…
Time to go, boys
“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:4
WASHINGTON—U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.
President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons. source – WSJ
Drone was downed in a cyber attack, not shot down
Iran exhibited the top-secret US stealth drone RQ-170 Sentinel captured on Sunday, Dec. 4. Its almost perfect condition confirmed Tehran’s claim that the UAV was downed by a cyber attack, meaning it was not shot down but brought in undamaged by an electronic warfare ambush.
The state of the lost UAV refutes the US military contention that the Sentinel’s systems malfunctioned. If this had happened, it would have crashed and either been wrecked or damaged. The condition of the RQ-170 intact obliges the US and Israel to make major changes in plans for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program.
Earlier Thursday, debkafile reported:
The Obama administration’s decision after internal debate not to send US commando or air units into Iran to retrieve or destroy the secret RQ-170 stealth drone which fell into Iranian hands has strengthened the hands of the Israeli faction which argues the case for striking Iran’s nuclear installations without waiting for the Americans to make their move.
Senior Israeli diplomatic and security officials who followed the discussion in Washington concluded that, by failing to act, the administration has left Iran not only with the secrets of the Sentinel’s stealth coating, its sensors and cameras, but also with the data stored in its computer cells on targets marked out by the US and/or Israeli for attack.
debkafile’s military sources say that this knowledge compels the US and Israel to revise their plans of attack for aborting the Iranian nuclear program.
Like every clandestine weapons system, the RQ-170 had a self-destruct mechanism to prevent its secrets spilling out to the enemy in the event of a crash or capture. This did not happen. Tehran was able to claim the spy drone was only slightly damaged when they downed it.
The NATO spokesman claimed control was lost of the US UAV and it went missing, a common occurrence for these unmanned aircraft.
The enigmas surrounding its capture continue to pile up. How did Iran know the drone had entered its airspace? How was it caused to land? Most of all, why did the craft’s self-destruct mechanism which is programmed to activate automatically fail to work? And if it malfunctioned, why was it not activated by remote control?
Thursday, Dec. 8, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that from Sunday, Dec. 4, when Tehran announced the stealth drone’s capture, the Obama administration weighed sending special commando forces into Iran from bases in Afghanistan to bring the downed aircraft back to Afghanistan or blow it up to destroy the almost intact secret systems – either by a sneak operation or by an air strike.
Iranian officials said the drone was detected near the Iranian town of Kashmar, 200 kilometers from the Afghan border and presumably moved to a military or air base inside the country. The NYT disclosed that the special force would have used “allied agents inside Iran” to hunt down the missing aircraft, the first time Washington has admitted to support from “allied agents” operating covertly in Iran.
In the end, the paper quoted a US official as explaining that the attack option was ruled out “because of the potential it could become a larger incident.” If an assault team entered the country, the US “could be accused of an act of war” by Tehran.
The Obama administration’s internal discussion on how to handle the loss of the high-value reconnaissance drone was followed tensely in Jerusalem. The decision it took against mounting a mission to recover or destroy the top-secret Sentinel was perceived in Israel as symptomatic of a wider decision to call off the covert war America has been conducting for some months against Iran’s drive for a nuclear bomb – at least until the damage caused by RQ-170 incident is fully assessed.
A senior Israeli security official had this to say: “Everything that’s happened around the RQ-170 shows that when it comes to Iran and its nuclear program, the Obama administration and Israel have different objectives. On this issue, each country needs to go its own way.” source – DEBKA
Let’s call it a Muslim terror attack
Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday blasted the Defense Department for classifying the Fort Hood massacre as workplace violence and suggested political correctness is being placed above the security of the nation’s Armed Forces at home.
During a joint session of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, the Maine Republican referenced a letter from the Defense Department depicting the Fort Hood shootings as workplace violence. She criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam.
Thirteen people were killed and dozens more wounded at Fort Hood in 2009, and the number of alleged plots targeting the military has grown significantly since then. Lawmakers said there have been 33 plots against the U.S. military since Sept. 11, 2001, and 70 percent of those threats have been since mid-2009. Major Nidal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist, who is being held for the attacks, allegedly was inspired by radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in late September. The two men exchanged as many as 20 emails, according to U.S. officials, and Awlaki declared Hasan a hero.
The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, said the military has become a “direct target of violent Islamist extremism” within the United States.
“The stark reality is that the American service member is increasingly in the terrorists’ scope and not just overseas in a traditional war setting,” Lieberman told Fox News before the start of Wednesday’s hearing.
In June, two men allegedly plotted to attack a Seattle, Wash., military installation using guns and grenades. In July, Army Pvt. Naser Abdo was accused of planning a second attack on Fort Hood. And in November, New York police arrested Jose Pimentel, who alleged sought to kill service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both Pimentel and Abdo also allegedly drew inspiration from al-Awlaki and the online jihadist magazine Inspire, which includes a spread on how to “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”
Rep. Peter King of New York, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said military service members are “symbols of America’s power, symbols of America’s might.”
“And if they (military personnel) can be killed, then that is a great propaganda victory for al Qaeda,” King told Fox News.
King said there is also evidence that extremists have joined the services.
“There is a serious threat within the military from people who have enlisted who are radical jihadists,” King said. “The Defense Department is very concerned about them. They feel they’re a threat to the military both for what they can do within the military itself and also because of the weapons skills they acquire while they’re in the military.”
The witnesses testifying before the joint session include Paul N. Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense; Jim Stuteville, U.S. Army senior adviser for counterintelligence operations and liaison to the FBI; Lt. Col. Reid L. Sawyer, director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and Darius Long, whose son, Army Pvt. William Andrew Long, was shot and killed at an Arkansas military recruitment center in 2009.
A second private was also injured in the Arkansas attack. Both victims had just finished basic training and had not been deployed. They were outside the Arkansas recruitment center when the shooter opened fire from a passing truck. The shooter, Carlos Bledsoe, pleaded guilty to the crime earlier this year.
In a letter to the court, Bledsoe said he carried out the attack on behalf of al Qaeda in Yemen — the group that was behind the last two major plots targeting the U.S. airline industry.
“My faith in government is diminished. It invents euphemisms … Little Rock is a drive by and Fort Hood is just workplace violence. The truth is denied,” Long testified.
King said the web is the driver of the new digital jihad.
“It enables people — rather than having to travel to Afghanistan to learn about jihad or to be trained, they can do it right over the Internet,” he said. “And this is a growing role.”
And while Awlaki and his colleague Samir Khan, who was behind the magazine Inspire, were killed in a CIA-led operation in September, King warned against overconfidence that al Qaeda in Yemen was done.
“This is a definite short-term victory for us. There’s no doubt they are going to regroup, that there will be others who will be providing Internet data, inspiration to jihadists in this country, instructions on how to make bombs,” he said.
While King was heavily criticized, in some quarters, for launching his hearings 10 months ago on homegrown terrorism, the congressman said the joint session shows the threat is legitimate, and recognized as such by other members of Congress.
“To me it’s a validation of what I’ve been trying to do all year,” King emphasized. “There’s a definite threat from Islamic radicalization in various parts of our society, including within the military, and we can’t allow political correctness to keep us from exposing this threat for what it is.” source – Fox News
(Reuters) – Iranian protesters stormed two British Embassy compounds in Tehran Tuesday, smashing windows, hurling petrol bombs and burning the British flag in a protest against sanctions imposed by Britain, live Iranian television showed.
Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency said protesters took six British diplomatic staff hostage from an embassy compound in the north of the city but it withdrew the story from its website minutes later without giving any explanation.
The attacks followed the rapid approval by Iran’s Guardian Council of a parliamentary bill compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for the sanctions. A lawmaker had also warned Sunday that angry Iranians could storm the British Embassy as they did the U.S. mission in 1979.
Several dozen protesters broke away from a crowd of a few hundred protesters outside the main embassy compound in downtown Tehran, scaled the embassy gates and went inside.
Protesters pulled down the British flag, burned it, and put up the Iranian flag, Iranian news agencies and news pictures showed. Inside, the demonstrators threw stones and petrol bombs. One waved a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth, state TV showed.
Others carried the royal crest out through the embassy gate as police stood by, pictures carried by the official Fars news agency showed.
The British Foreign Office said it was outraged.
“There has been a incursion by a significant number of demonstrators into our Embassy premises, including vandalism to our property,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “This is a fluid situation and details are still emerging. We are outraged by this. It is utterly unacceptable and we condemn it.
The Iranian government had a duty under international law to protect diplomats and London expected it to bring the situation under control and ensure the safety of the staff, the Foreign Office said.
Demonstrators waved flags symbolizing martyrdom and held up portraits of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. source – Reuters