Pakistan Continues To a Support Terrorism (Dan 8:8)

India outraged after Pakistani court frees alleged Mumbai mastermind

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 Big News Network.comFriday 13th March, 2015

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the alleged masterminds of the attack, was freed from a Pakistani prison after a court Friday declared the detention orders as illegal.

This triggered a strong reaction from India, and the Pakistan envoy in New Delhi was summoned to convey outrage over the court order.

India’s foreign ministry in a statement said that India summoned the Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a formal protest over the issue

“India today conveyed its outrage to Pakistan at the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the key accused in the Mumbai terror attacks,” said spokesperson Syed Akbarudin of the ministry.

The ministry said if a person, who is also a designated international terrorist by the United Nations, is released, it will pose a threat that cannot be ignored.

“This goes against Pakistan’s professed commitment to combat terrorism, including its recently stated policy of not differentiating amongst terrorists.”

Basit later told the media that Lakhvi’s trial continues and the judicial process should be allowed to take its own course.

A separate statement from India’s internal ministry said that it was “the responsibility of the Pakistan government to take all legal measures to ensure that Lakhvi does not come out of jail”.

“Pakistan should realise that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists, a fact which has been globally accepted,” the statement said.

Lakhvi and six other suspects were arrested in February 2009 over charges of “facilitating” the Mumbai terror attack. An Islamabad High Court order on December 29 last year suspended the detention but was restored soon.

Lakhvi, a top leader of the banned terrorist Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, is on the most wanted list of India’s National Investigation Agency.

The development comes days after India’s top diplomat, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, was in Islamabad to clear way for dialogue over pending disputes between the two neighbours.

The rare visit came seven months after India called off foreign secretary level talks over Pakistan’s engagement with separatist leaders in disputed Jammu and Kashmir a Himalayan state ruled in parts but claimed in full by the two rivals.

The issue of Lakhvi’s release rocked the Indian upper house of parliament on Friday with many lawmakers urging the government to take a strong note of the development and review any engagement with the Pakistani government.

Nuclear Terrorism: The Fulfillment of Prophecy (Rev 16)

Nuclear Terrorism in America

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Review: ‘Right of Boom’ by Benjamin E. Schwartz

BY: 
March 14, 2015 5:00 am

Benjamin Schwartz deserves much credit. Annihilating the claim that terrorism isn’t an existential threat to America, Schwartz’s new book, Right of Boom, forces us to consider what just one atomic explosion might mean for humanity’s future. Even better for a book about public policy, he writes with accessibility for serious readers, neither talking down to us nor assuming that we have technical expertise in his field.

Schwartz, a national security analyst at the Department of Defense, paints a picture of mayhem in the aftermath of such an explosion. “On an otherwise calm and uneventful morning, a small nuclear weapon explodes in downtown Washington, DC.… The casualty count rises to over a hundred thousand, and the destruction is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Discussing the history of the nuclear age, Schwartz seeks to educate the reader about the fact that the development of nuclear weapons is not cutting-edge science, nor is it nearly as complicated as commonly assumed. As he puts it, “Iran is a large and wealthy country; Iranian scientists are capable; and the atomic bomb is 1940s technology.” Nuclear proliferation is an inevitability we simply have to admit: “The greatest danger remains the great discovery—the knowledge that can’t be unlearned.”
There’s no going back. Schwartz argues convincingly that, “even in the absence of super-secret Presidential eye-only intelligence, there is enough information in the public domain about the threat to reach the conclusion that a single atomic bomb going off in an American city is a real possibility.” Discussing the cases of Pakistan and North Korea, Schwartz explores how existing nuclear states have been open to exporting their atomic capabilities. Threats of retaliation and sanctions have not deterred the trade of atomic information. He also notes that a state’s development of nuclear weapons does not require that the state have a strong or stable government, and his warnings about Pakistani extremist control of nuclear weapons are especially concerning.

Discussing the complexity of post-nuclear event forensic investigations, Schwartz warns that policymakers could very possibly struggle to ascribe responsibility for an attack. Diplomatic crises, he says, would almost certainly follow. Would, for example, China and Russia support U.S. policies in the aftermath of an attack, or seize the opportunity to push the international order in a direction that better suits them? Would smaller nuclear states not involved in the attack be willing to accede to aggressive American security demands? Schwartz convincingly argues that much post-attack support for the United States would likely be less-than-tangible.

While Right of Boom points out that a nuclear attack upon an major city would change America forever, Schwartz also makes clear that retaliation would be far from Hollywood simple. How many presidents—especially when faced with convoluted intelligence—would authorize nuclear retaliation against a foreign city, packed with civilians?

These issues are terrible to contemplate. Schwartz’s book leaves us with more knowledge and many more questions.

While Schwartz could have developed some themes—for example, more detail about what might happen if most of the U.S. government were to be killed in a blast would have been welcome—Right of Boom addresses the greatest threat facing America. Balanced and packed with impressive analysis, it should be required reading for policymakers, and for all those who care about American security.

Pakistan Gains Nuclear Advantage (Daniel 8:8)

Sound bytes: ‘ Pakistan is engaged in nuclear competition’

Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan: Report

Iran’s Influence Grows In Iraq (Daniel 8)

Expected Shiite victory in Tikrit seen as cementing Iran’s influence in Iraq

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The forces that appeared to have cornered the last Islamic State fighters in central Tikrit are dominated by Iranian military advisers, Shiite militias are all Iranian trained, and the offensive is being directed by Iran’s most influential general, Qasem Soleimani.
But the seemingly certain triumph of a force with little Sunni Muslim participation in the center of Iraq’s Sunni heartland has raised another troubling issue: the extension of Iran’s influence in a country where the Shiite Muslim neighbor is already the most significant outside player.
The forces that appeared Thursday to have cornered the last Islamic State fighters in central Tikrit are dominated by Iranian military advisers. The Iraqi Shiite militias are all Iranian trained. And the offensive is being directed on the ground by Iran’s most influential general, Qasem Soleimani, who has been a thorn in U.S. efforts to pacify Iraq since the early days of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
To add to American unease, there are credible reports that Iranian troops and fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement are participating in the Tikrit operation, and other reports that the Shiite militias and even U.S.-trained Iraqi troops have engaged in retaliatory attacks against Sunni residents. Those reports have convinced many Sunnis that the long-frayed relationship between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite sects is completely broken.
The offensive, which is said to involve as many as 30,000 fighters, is the government’s largest offensive to date against the Islamic State group, the Sunni Muslim extremists who swept through much of Iraq’s Sunni heartland in northern and western Iraq last year, often with the support of area residents.
Although government accounts Thursday suggested that much of Tikrit was under the control of security forces, there was no independent corroboration of the reported advances in Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, the capital.
The military campaign has generated criticism. “It’s a Persian-led invasion of the Sunni triangle,” said one prominent leader of a Sunni tribe who fled Baghdad and the Islamic State group for the safety of the Kurdish capital, Irbil. “We see Iranian troops and generals leading the fighting and the only Iraqi army units — which once represented all Iraqis — now only represent the Shiite parties and their Iranian leadership.”
He asked not to be identified because of fears he could be targeted by both sides of the increasingly bitter conflict.
“Daash is a poison to all Muslims, but the Persians have become a cancer to Iraq,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. Then, referring to the eight-year war Iraq under Saddam fought against Iran in the 1980s, he summed up: “What they could not do in the 1980s they have done now with American help, which is enslave Iraq.”
The tribal leader said tens of thousands of Sunnis have offered to help the central government in Baghdad fight the Islamic State group, but that the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, has rejected requests for arms from the Sunni tribes.
Even populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army battled U.S. troops throughout the U.S. occupation, has refused to allow his militia to join the Tikrit operation because of what he claims is a constant pattern of innocent Sunnis being murdered or abused by other Shiite militias and the security forces. He’s been a vocal advocate for a government investigation into allegations of abuse.
But in Iraq’s tribal culture, the abuses of the Islamic State group, most famously with the execution in Tikrit of at least 1,000 Shiite air force cadets and soldiers, are likely to make such an investigation impossible. The past becomes prologue as partisans recall events dating back decades, including the aftermath of the 1990-91 Gulf War, when Shiites rose up after U.S. troops expelled Iraq’s army from Kuwait, only to discover the Americans unwilling to join their assault on Saddam.
“Blood for blood,” said Abu Barazan, a Sunni from Tikrit who fled the fighting for the safety of Irbil last month. “Saddam crushed the Shiites in 1991, so when the Americans crushed Saddam it was the Shiites’ turn to take Baghdad. And, of course, they did it with Iran’s help then as they do with Iran’s help today. Any Sunni support for the Islamic State was revenge for the behavior of the Shiites toward the Sunnis after the Americans came, and now we see the Shiite taking their revenge.”
Inside Tikrit, the operation appeared to be slowly drawing to a conclusion, although the lack of any real Sunni tribal support is likely to make it difficult for the Shiite militias to establish true authority over an area that, like much of the Middle East, tends to prefer to be policed by locals well-known to the community.
Col. Salah al-Obeidi, a special-operations commander in the Salahuddin Operations Center that oversees the Tikrit operation, said in an interview that Iraqi forces had pushed into the city center from the south and the west, trapping the remnants of the Islamic State group inside the city against the Tigris River. Still, he said, the risk from roadside bombs, snipers and suicide bombers had slowed their progress.
The United States has remained on the sidelines. No U.S. plane has flown a combat mission in support of the push, though the Iraqi air force has flown more than 1,300 helicopter gunship and air-support missions in the past two weeks, al-Obeidi said.

South Korea And Saudi Arabia Join The Nuclear Race (Dan 7)

Saudi Nuke Deal with South Korea Reignites Mideast Proliferation Fears

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Saudi Arabia has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, fueling fears of a nuclear arms race in the Middle EastThe Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the signing of the agreement increases “concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.” As Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy explained to Business Insider, “While the purpose of multilateral negotiations with Iran is to reduce proliferation concerns, successful talks may in fact accelerate nuclear plans in the Gulf states and Jordan.”

Rumors of a weak deal that allows Iran a glidepath to a bomb have heightened concerns; lawmakers on Capitol Hill and analysts have expressed fears that America’s Sunni allies will pursue their own nuclear programs. As Henderson wrote elsewhere, “[F]rom their perspective, if Iran is going to be allowed to enrich uranium and retain its nuclear-capable missiles — as they believe likely given Washington’s reported approach to the negotiations thus far — why shouldn’t they be permitted to acquire similar capabilities?” Henderson contextualized this observation by adding that containing proliferation will be very difficult if an agreement is signed and the Gulf states oppose it.
Gulf Arab states have raised their concerns with the United States over the impending nuclear deal with Iran. Former head of Israeli military intelligence Amos Yadlin concluded that if Iran gets the bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.” According to the Journal, “A number of senior Arab officials have warned the White House in recent months the Saudi government could seek Pakistan’s aid in developing nuclear technologies — or even buy an atomic bomb — if it sees an agreement with Iran as too weak.”
Earlier this month, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic wrote that “if Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey respond to an Iran nuclear agreement by ramping up their own nuclear programs, we may be able to judge the deal a provisional failure.”