The Next 911 Will Be a Nuclear Attack at the Port of Long Beach (Rev 14)

Trump’s Budget Would Leave U.S. Ports Open to Nuclear Threat
The administration is putting money toward a border wall, but giving short shrift to America’s other borders.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would pour money into a wall on the southern border — while stripping funding from protecting ports against the threat of nuclear attack.The administration’s proposed 2018 budget would halve funding for key counterterrorism programs at another kind of border: The 361 ports dotted across America’s 95,000 miles of coastline. The proposed cuts, leaving just $48 million in grant funding, have alarmed port operators, senators from both sides of the aisle, and counterterrorism experts alike.“I’m seriously concerned that these budget cuts will weaken our ability to detect, prevent, and respond to future attacks,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, last month.After the September 11, 2001 attacks, one of security experts’ greatest fears was that terrorists would acquire nuclear or radiological weapons and use them against the United States. Analysts determined that if a weapon of mass destruction were to be deployed, it would likely be delivered in one of the 12 million shipping containers arriving in ports every year — a flood of cargo seemingly too big to search without disrupting global trade.Determining that ports were “susceptible to large scale acts of terrorism,” Congress established the Port Security Grant Program in October 2002 to fund radiation detection scanners, security systems and maintenance, and training at maritime ports. But even today, worries about port security persist. Former Secretary of Defense William Perry said last month at an event at the Hoover Institute that North Korea may not need the long-range missiles it is currently developing in order to deliver a nuclear payload to American shores. Pyongyang, he said, “might even be able to do terrible damage to the United States by delivering [nuclear weapons] in freighters.”The Trump budget doesn’t just take aim at port security funding — it also would slash the U.S. Coast Guard budget, which provides layers of protection by tracking incoming vessels, scanning for illicit weapons, and making sure foreign ports have adequate security, Additionally, a pair of crack Coast Guard units — the Maritime Safety and Security Teams and the Maritime Security Response Teams — could lose their funding entirely, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press in February. The Response Teams are the Coast Guard’s ace in the hole against terrorists, said Cmdr. Paul Frantz, of the Coast Guard’s Office of Deployable Specialized Forces, “designed to respond to the threat or event of a terrorist attack.” This spring, nearly two dozen senators sent Trump’s budget director a letter warning against dismantling the Coast Guard units, warning that it would be “negligent and detrimental to our national security.”When the September 11 attacks occurred, U.S. ports were wide open to possible risks. Years of funding have built up the capabilities of ports around the country to detect potentially nefarious activity, including any smuggled nuclear bombs. According to testimony submitted to a June 2014 Senate homeland security committee hearing, in 2001 Customs and Border Patrol had none of the big scanners — known as radiation portal monitors — that spot radiological hazards. By 2014, it had 1,387 at ports across the country, able to screen 99 percent of incoming cargo, essentially meeting the post-9/11 Congressional mandate that 100 percent of incoming shipping containers be scanned.But these scanners require expensive maintenance and have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years, meaning those deployed after 9/11 will soon need to be replaced. Many ports don’t have the cash. “There’s a lot about the border wall, but we’re borders as well,” said April Danos, director of information technology at the Greater Lafourche Port Commission in Louisiana. The grants enable ports like Lafourche to install pricey security systems they wouldn’t have been able to afford, and to perform costly maintenance to keep systems operational. “Those budget cuts would impact us greatly,” said Danos. “We would not be able to maintain these systems.”The possible gutting of the grant program has port operators around the country up in arms. On June 12, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) sent a letter calling on eight leading lawmakers to fully fund the grant program, highlighting that it is crucial in “helping seaports harden security and protect these vital transportation hubs and maritime borders.”Congress needs to be reminded that “ports are international borders,” said John Young, director of freight and surface transportation policy at the AAPA, in a phone interview with Foreign Policy. Used in collaboration with local law enforcement, said Young, port security grants “can do anything from fencing to cyber security assessments, to installing cyber equipment to purchasing equipment to help secure ports.”Without the grant money, it’s not clear how ports and operators will be able to fully address ongoing vulnerabilities or identify new ones.“It’s a big deal for us,” said Danos. “The gaps are going to be left wide open.”Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Antichrist’s Move Into Iraq (Revelation 13)

 7 July 2017, 7:12pm / Shannon Ebrahim – THE GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT
Fighters from predominantly Sunni Arab forces take part in a training session before the battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State. Picture: Thaier Al-Sudani / Reuters
The last remnants of Islamic State are about to be forced out of Mosul, but what then? Getting rid of IS was but one critical step towards the stabilisation of Iraq, but the fractured social fabric of the country is a recipe for future insurgencies and instability.If Iraq is to move beyond its perpetual cycle of political violence it will need to find a way to address the concerns of the Sunni community, as well as those of other minorities. Failure to do this will lead to further bloodshed and cycles of revenge.
One of the fundamental challenges will be to transform the image of the Iraqi military as being a partisan one which has discriminated against Sunnis. There is enough evidence that segments of the military have been sectarian since 2003, often humiliating people at checkpoints, engaging in arbitrary arrests and demanding bribes. All these factors pushed Sunnis into the arms of IS. There have also been a number of Shia paramilitary groups backed by Iran which are feared by the Sunnis.
Some of these paramilitary groups, such as the Hashd al-Sha’abi, have played a key role in the battle of the Iraqi security forces against IS. In this last push against IS in Mosul, it is the Hashd al-Sha’abi which effectively severed its supply lines to Syria and drove it out. Out of recognition of Hashd al-Sha’abi’s contribution, its forces were incorporated into the Iraqi army in November, but this has also brought its own complications.
There were numerous reports of members of Hashd al-Sha’abi having brutally interrogated residents, beatings, killings, kidnappings and the recruitment of child soldiers. But due to their instrumental role in capturing Anbar, Diyala, Tikrit, Baij and Mosul, these human rights abuses were overlooked. Now with these unreformed members as part of the national army, it is understandable that Sunni communities are fearful that their rights will again be violated.
Iraq has always been a kaleidoscope of various ethnicities and religious sects, and for as long as it is perceived that one group is exerting its hegemony over the others, there will never be peace. But in the history of Iraq, these communities had peacefully coexisted, but the legacy of colonialism was to prop up certain groups at the expense of others. This has led to a trail of tears.
Nineveh, the second largest province in Iraq, is a perfect example of Iraq’s pluralist history. Nineveh used to see Christians, Jews, Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Turkmen and Yazidis living relatively peacefully together throughout the region’s history. When TE Lawrence had made his map exploring colonial partition of the Middle East based on ethnicities, he had two question marks over Nineveh. That is a testament to the type of pluralistic society it was in those times.
But given the dynamics of Iraq’s more recent history which saw Saddam Hussein creating Sunni dominance over other groups, and then the post-Saddam government being more Shia in character, the fault lines in Iraqi society have become increasingly toxic and violent.
It is perhaps the greatest challenge facing the government to make all groups feel included as the country moves forward, whether in terms of the composition of the military, the public service or the distribution of resources.
Through its brutal campaign of repression, IS had become the enemy of all Iraqis, and most will welcome its demise. But now that the common enemy has faded into the woodwork, there is always the danger that Iraqis could turn on one another in orgies of revenge.
Despite the fact that in February, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr had put forward a plan for social reconciliation, and reconciliation committees have been established, these efforts have been largely dismissed by Iraqis. This makes the job of the central government that much harder.
For the sake of Iraq’s stability and ensuring its territorial integrity, it is imperative that a roadmap be developed without delay.
* Ebrahim is Independent Media’s Group Foreign Editor

Iran’s Commitment to Mohammadism (Daniel 8:4) Iranian missile strikes on Syrian province ‘act of worship’
In a meeting with Revolutionary Guards commanders, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei likened the Iranian missile attack launched from the Islamic republic against ISIS sites in the Syrian province of Deir el-Zour to an “act of worship” during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, Iranian news agencies reported on Thursday.

Iran’s news agency ISNA said that the meeting between Khamenei and the leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) took place two weeks ago, a few hours after the missile strikes were launched the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah.
What you have done is wonderful, may God accept your good deeds, this is what it means to worship in the month of Ramadan,” he said.
June 24 was the last day for the month of Ramadan in 2017.
Khamenei also called for expanding the missile industry, when he said: “Do everything you can to develop the missiles, notice how your enemy fears it. Be aware of the importance of what you are doing in this area.”
Iran’s missile activities have sparked widespread debate in the West, particularly in the United States, where US government institutions, including Congress have imposed sanctions against Tehran’s missile activities.
According to the Persian-speaking war reports, which track Iran’s military intervention in Iraq and Syria, IRGC’s claims were similar to the Russian statements that bombed civilian targets under the pretext of targeting ISIS headquarters.
A spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Ramadan Sharif, told the Iranian agency Tasnim that the strikes were coordinated with Damascus, adding that the missiles crossed the Iraqi airspace.
Meanwhile, observers believe that Iranian authorities sought to conceal this meeting to make sure that the missiles had hit the right targets. Some reports said four out of the six missiles launched fell in Iraq on its way to Syria.
Press reports had previously confirmed that Iran’s rocket attacks on Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria have hit civilian targets, contradicting IRGC’s claims.
Iranian media had published a clip claimed it showed the launch of the Zulfiqar missiles on ISIS targets, but maps, photographs and video clips broadcasted by Iranian agencies showed no actual sites of the militant group.
(The article was originally published at the Arabic language website for Al Arabiya News Channel)

The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Rev 6:12)

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NY bridge

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.
However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.
Nonetheless, Armbruster added that there are many faults around the area and a few in Manhattan, including on specific fault capable of producing a magnitude 6.0 earthquake, “The 125th street fault.”
What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?
“I think there would be serious damage and casualties,” said Armbruster.  The reason?  Most of the buildings and infrastructure was not constructed  to withstand earthquakes.  This said, what does Armbruster think of the chances of a major earthquake catching New York City by surprise?
“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.