Nuclear Disaster Brews Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)​

February 27, 2020

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D, NY-17), Thursday, said that a report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Inspector General reveals that NRC failed to properly analyze the safety impact of the placement of a natural gas pipeline near the Indian Point Energy Center as part of the process for the pipeline’s approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The IG findings show outrageous failings by an agency charged with the important responsibility of protecting the health and safety of our communities,” Lowey said.  “This report indicates repeated failings to use proper analysis by the same commission that oversees the decommissioning of Indian Point.  NRC must immediately explain to our communities the risks they face as a result of the agency’s faulty processes and take steps to protect the public from any dangers that have resulted from the pipeline’s approval and installation.”

The IG report indicated that FERC relied upon NRC to assess the impacts of the pipeline that now traverses Indian Point property as part of the Algonquin Incremental Market Project.

Lowey has written to NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki calling for an immediate briefing in the wake of the IG report’s release.  She said the report is all the more alarming at a time when the NRC must ensure the safety of local residents as Indian Point’s nuclear plants are decommissioned.

“The NRC must do its job to protect the public first and foremost,” Lowey said. “As we work to mitigate the impact of the decommission of Indian Point on our communities, we simply must have reliable partners to ensure that we don’t face increased environmental and public safety concerns.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, meanwhile, called the NRC’s action “a gross failing on the part of the agency that is charged with keeping this community and the families that live here safe.” He said it is “particularly appalling when coupled with the fact that this is the same agency charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point – a process that is occurring right now.”

Lattimer said he wants the NRC to come to Westchester to tell its residents

“that they have failed them, and to explain what steps they are taking to protect the public from the pipeline that now crosses the Indian Point property as part of the Algonquin Incremental Market Project.”

Rocket Fired From Outside the Temple Walls During Pandemic (Revelation 11)

Rocket Fired From Gaza Into Southern Israel During Coronavirus Pandemic

March 27, 2020

A rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on March 27, prompting the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to retaliate later in the day.

The IDF tweeted that thousands of Israelis are currently in bomb shelters and that the IDF is responding with strikes against Hamas posts in Gaza.

“As the world fights COVID-19, we must also fight terror,” the IDF tweeted. “And we’ll defeat them. Both.”

According to The Times of Israel, the rocket was fired toward Sderot but landed in an open field and didn’t cause any damage. The IDF holds Hamas responsible for all rocket attacks emanating from Gaza.

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “Take a moment to imagine this: You’re in quarantine sheltering from a pandemic. Then a siren goes off, warning that a rocket could be heading right at you. What do you do? Stay or run to the bomb shelter? In Israel, this is not a hypothetical. It is happening right now.”

American Jewish Committee

@AJCGlobal

Take a moment to imagine this:

You’re in quarantine sheltering from a pandemic.

Then a siren goes off, warning that a rocket could be heading right at you.

What do you do? Stay or run to the bomb shelter?

In Israel, this is not a hypothetical.

It is happening right now.

https://

twitter.com/IDF/status/124

3604166641057792

Israel Defense Forces

@IDF

1 rocket was just fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians in southern #Israel.

Thousands of Israeli men, women and children are currently in bomb shelters.

81

1:12 PM – Mar 27, 2020

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57 people are talking about this

There are currently 3,035 cases of coronavirus in Israel and 12 deaths. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a March 27 statement that if there isn’t a decline in cases over the next couple of days, the country will be forced to go into full lockdown.

In Gaza, there are currently nine coronavirus cases.

Babylon the Great Prepares for War Against Iran

US officials: Missile defense systems now operating in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — New air defense systems are now protecting American and allied forces at military bases in Iraq where troops have been attacked by Iranian-backed insurgents in recent months, according to U.S. officials.

Patriot missile launchers and two other short-range systems are now in place at al-Asad Air Base, where Iran carried out a massive ballistic missile attack against U.S. and coalition troops in January, and at the military base in Irbil, said officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive weapons movement. A short-range rocket defense system was installed at Camp Taji.

The military has been gradually moving the defensive systems into Iraq over the last few months to provide more protection for troops that have seen a series of rocket and missile attacks.

Soon after Iran launched a massive ballistic missile assault against troops at al-Asad in January, questions were raised about the lack of air defense systems at the bases. But it has taken time to overcome tensions and negotiate with Iraqi leaders and to also locate defense systems that could be shifted into Iraq. Prior to the missile attacks, U.S. military leaders did not believe the systems were needed there, more than in other locations around the world where such strikes are more frequent.

The systems are now operational, as top U.S. officials warn that threats from Iranian proxy groups continue.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday. that because of that threat, hundreds of soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, remain in Iraq.

He said only one battalion was allowed to return to Fort Bragg, N.C., “in part because the situation with the Shia militia groups and Iran has not 100 percent settled down.” He added that “they will continue their mission until such time that we think the threat has subsided.”

Several rockets hit near the site of an American oilfield service company in southern Iraq this week. It was the first such attack in recent months to target U.S. energy interests. Americans had already left the location.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!

President Donald Trump early last week said his administration has received intelligence that Iran is planning a strike. He provided no details, but he warned Iran in a tweet that if U.S. troops are attacked by Iran or its proxies, “Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

Other officials in recent weeks said there had been an increase in intelligence pointing to a possible large attack. But they said this week that the threat appears to have tapered off, as countries grapple with the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

Still, military leaders have argued that U.S. and coalition troops needed the extra protection because threats from the Iranian proxies continue and it’s unclear how much control Tehran may have over them, particularly now as the virus hits Iran hard.

In early January, the U.S. launched an airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iran’s most powerful military officer, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leader of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq. Kataib Hezbollah, one of those militias, has been responsible for a number of attacks on U.S., Iraqi and coalition forces.

The Soleimani killing triggered the Iran ballistic missile attack, which resulted in traumatic brain injuries to more than 100 American troops.

Iraqi leaders, however, were angry over the al-Muhandis killing, and protests around the county had been calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Those conditions made negotiations over the Patriot systems very sensitive.

In addition, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, told reporters that moving Patriots and other systems to Iraq was tricky because it meant he would have to take the systems from another location where they were also needed. Officials have not said where the systems in Iraq were taken from.

It also has taken time to move the large systems, piece by piece, into Iraq, assemble them and and link them together.

The Patriot batteries, which are designed to protect against missiles are at al-Asad and Iribil. In addition, the so-called Army C-RAM system is being used and is able to take out rockets and mortars. And the more sophisticated Avenger air defense system can counter low-flying missiles and aircraft, including drones and helicopters.

Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and has steadily reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran that had been eased or lifted under the terms of the deal. Late last month, the administration slapped sanctions on 20 Iranian people and companies for supporting Shia militia responsible for attacks on U.S. forces.

Currently, there are more than 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. While some forces have been withdrawn over the past few months, others have flowed in to set up and operate the new air defense systems.

The Iranian Nuclear Threat (Daniel 8:4)

Threat From Iran to U.S. Forces in Iraq Remains ‘Significant’: Senior U.S. Diplomat

By ReutersApril 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — Iranian-backed militia pose a “significant” threat to U.S. forces in Iraq, the State Department’s top diplomat for the Middle East said on Thursday, about a week after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of an attack by Iran or its proxies.

David Schenker, assistant secretary of Near Eastern Affairs, did not give details about the threat, but told reporters in a teleconference: “It continues to be significant.”

Iran-backed paramilitary groups have regularly been shelling bases in Iraq that host U.S. forces, and the area around the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

On Monday, three Katyusha rockets landed near a district in southern Iraq that houses workers for foreign oil companies, including U.S. oil service company Halliburton. No casualties or damage were reported.

Last week, Trump said Iran or its proxies planned a sneak attack on U.S. targets in Iraq, and warned they would pay a “very heavy price” but gave no details.

U.S.-Iranian relations have been bitter since the Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-backed shah of Iran in 1979 and ushered in an era of theocratic rule.

While there was a detente with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, relations have deteriorated with Trump’s decision nearly two years ago to abandon that international agreement and reimpose U.S. sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

Worsening tensions, a Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. It also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who founded Iraq’s Shi’ite Kataib Hezbollah militia after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States proposed a ‘Strategic Dialogue’ with Iraq to be held in June, a bid to restore strained bilateral ties.

Schenker, who in March said Washington was “enormously disappointed” by Iraq’s performance in protecting U.S.-led coalition forces, repeated Washington’s concerns.

“It is on the Iraqis – if they value that relationship – to take certain steps and that includes providing protection to the coalition forces who are in Iraq, if they want those forces to remain,” Schenker said.

On Thursday, Iraq’s president named intelligence chief Mustafa al-Kadhimi as prime minister-designate, the third person tapped to lead Iraq in just 10 weeks as it struggles to replace a government that fell last year after months of deadly protests.

Schenker said of Kadhimi: “If Kadhimi is an Iraqi nationalist, dedicated to pursuing a sovereign Iraq, if he is committed to fighting corruption, this would be great for Iraq, and we think it would be great for our bilateral relationship.”

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Grant McCool)

Up-to-date information on coronavirus is available for free.

Pakistan’s Nuclear Terror (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons Should Terrify You

Of all the countries in the world, just nine are believed to have developed nuclear weapons. One member of this exclusive club is Pakistan, a country that occupies a unique strategic position on the Indian subcontinent. An ally of the United States and China and archenemy of India, Pakistan has developed a nuclear arsenal to suit its own particular needs. Unusually among the smaller powers, Islamabad has developed an arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons designed to destroy enemy forces on the battlefield.

Pakistan began developing nuclear weapons in the 1950s, but the country’s nuclear program accelerated in the mid-1970s after the detonation of “Smiling Buddha”, India’s first nuclear weapons test. Enemies since the end of the British Raj in 1947, India and Pakistan fought again in 1965 and 1971. In Pakistan’s view as long as India was the sole owner of nukes it could engage in nuclear saber-rattling and had the ultimate advantage.

Experts believe that Pakistan has between 150 and 180 nuclear bombs. It’s not clear when the country first had an operational, deployable weapon, but by the mid-1990s it had weapons to spare. On May 28, 1998, in response to a series of Indian nuclear tests, Pakistan detonated five devices in a single day, with a sixth device two days later. Four of the devices detonated on the 28th were tactical nuclear weapons, with explosive yields in the subkiloton (less than 1,000 tons of TNT) to 2-3 kiloton range.

Tactical nuclear weapons, also called nonstrategic nuclear weapons, are low-yield (ten kilotons or less) nuclear weapons designed for use on the battlefield. Unlike larger, more powerful strategic nuclear weapons, tactical nuclear weapons are meant to destroy military targets on the battlefield. Tactical nuclear weapons are meant to be used against troop formations, headquarters units, supply dumps, and other high-value targets.

Tactical nuclear weapons are important to Pakistan’s defense posture. Pakistan has a gross domestic product of just $305 billion, about the size of the state of Indiana. Pakistan has an active duty army of 767,000. Although the majority of the force is infantry, a substantial portion is fully mechanized with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, attack helicopters, and anti-tank missiles.

India has a GDP of $2.597 billion, an active army of 1.2 million, and greater amounts of equipment of every category. The Indian Army is larger by every metric, and in many cases fields larger numbers of qualitatively superior equipment–particularly tanks. In an all-out ground war, the Indian Army would almost certainly prevail. The Indian Army is sufficiently large that until 2004 it envisioned blunting a Pakistani ground offensive and then launching a counterattack with three “Strike Corps” of three divisions, all highly mechanized and each including at least one armored division.

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, particularly tactical nuclear weapons, are seen as an asymmetric means of offsetting India’s advantage in conventional forces. Even if a Pakistani Army offensive into India fails and the Strike Corps counterattacked, tactical nuclear weapons could blunt their spearheads, ideally halting them in their tracks.

Pakistan has an unknown number of tactical nuclear weapons, but we can get an idea of how many exist by counting delivery systems. A report by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists claims that the country has approximately 20-30 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicles designed to carry the NASR/Hatf-9 short-range ballistic missile. The TEL is a four-axle vehicle that can carry two or more NASR missiles. Assuming each TEL is armed with two NASR missiles with a single warhead each, Pakistan has somewhere in the area of 60 tactical nuclear weapons, or approximately one-third of its arsenal.

NASR is a solid rocket fuel missile with an operational range of just 43 miles. As the Bulletin report points out, short-range rules out using the weapons against meaningful targets in India, meaning they are more likely defensive weapons to be used against Indian Army units in Pakistani territory. This could also imply that the weapons are of very small explosive yield, as no country would want large nuclear explosions on its own territory.

One interesting question is that, given the fast-moving nature of modern warfare and the slow-moving nature of modern political decision making, Pakistan has already chosen target zones to launch against should Indian tanks roll into them and would delegate launch authority to the Army in times of war. If the political debate starts once the tanks arrive, the TELs could be overrun by the time a decision is made. Very small warheads would also have a very small area of effect, and a delay of just minutes could cause even a nuclear explosion to miss a battalion or more of tanks on the move.

Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons, while intrinsically unsavory, are at least defensive in nature. Unfortunately, given the number of times India and Pakistan have gone to war over the last eighty years, their use is theoretical than those of most countries. The use of nuclear weapons by one side could rapidly escalate to the use of larger, strategic weapons against populated areas by both sides.

Could Pakistan and India both give up their nuclear arms? Pakistan’s reliance on tactical nuclear weapons to offset weakness in conventional weapons will make it hard for Islamabad to divest itself of its nuclear arms. Once nuclear weapons are acquired it becomes extremely difficult to un-acquire them, and Pakistan will be no exception.

Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch

Image: Reuters.

Iran Continues to Nuke Up (Daniel 8:4)

Iran defies EU, declaring continued nuclear uranium enrichment

BERLIN – The national security and foreign policy committee for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s parliament declared that Tehran will move forward with its uranium enrichment process, triggering sharp criticism from the US State Department on Thursday.

According to a report in the Iranian regime’s state-controlled MEHR news agency, the foreign policy committee for Iran’s parliament “warned on Wednesday that in case Europe does not provide Iran with a practical guarantee on implementation of JCPOA, the Islamic Republic will continue its uranium enrichment to its desired level and volume.”

The JCPOA is an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal. The US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 because the agreement, according to the Trump administration, failed to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. The other world powers – UK,France, China, Russia and Germany – have stuck with the JCPOA.

Iran’s parliamentary committee “announced that despite European’ stance towards the nuclear deal and their emphasis on significance of its implementation besides Iran’s full commitment to the agreement, Europeans have been inactive and indifferent against US President Donald Trump’s remarks and behavior and the US withdrawal from the deal.”  MEHR said the parliamentary committee report “added that neither Europe not the US have paid any price for Trump’ decision of pulling out from the deal and Germany, France and UK have applied a double-standard policy towards the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.”

The US outlet Washington Free Beacon reported that the US State Department said Iran’s regime engages in “nuclear extortion.”

A State Department official added that “Unfortunately, Iran’s continued expansion of uranium enrichment activities comes as no surprise”This is something that they threaten regularly in a transparent attempt at nuclear extortion.”

The Free Beacon wrote that “The State Department said the United States would not stand by as Iran violates international accords and marches closer to a nuclear weapon.”

MEHR wrote that “It confirmed that Iran is following up its restricted peaceful nuclear program and is trying to re-design and renovate Arak heavy water reactor to convert it into a modern facility.”

The Arak heavy water facility can be used a second pathway for building an atomic weapon. Arak’s plant allows for plutonium-based, as opposed to uranium, to develop nuclear weaponry.

The Iranian parliament committee wrote that “Europe must guarantee Iran’s access to its exports and oil revenues.”The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that the prestigious Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security published a report outlining a newly revealed Iranian regime nuclear weapons plant that was discovered by Israel.

The authors of the report indicate that “Iran should declare this site to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and allow its inspection, since the facility was designed and built to handle nuclear material subject to safeguards under Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement.”

The three scientists – David Albright, Sarah Burkhard and Frank Pabian – wrote that “based on documents in the Iran Nuclear Archive, seized by Israel in early 2018, Iran’s Amad Plan created the Shahid Mahallati Uranium Metals Workshop near Tehran to research and develop uranium metallurgy related to building nuclear weapons.”

Albright, the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, told the Post  that what “jumped out at us was the plant could have made cores for the first bomb parts.” He added that over time the facility “could have made four nuclear missiles.”

The US Government Refuses to Shut the Sixth Seal Down (Revelation 6:12)

FERC Answers Cuomo's Request to Halt Pipeline Expansion during Indian Point Review

FERC Answers Cuomo’s Request to Halt Pipeline Expansion during Indian Point Review

New York’s governor asked the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission to stop the work while his agencies investigate the nuclear plant.

By Lanning Taliaferro, Patch Staff 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has denied New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request that FERC temporarily halt the AIM pipeline expansion project while his administration does a safety analysis of the pipeline past the Indian Point Nuclear Plant.The governor, who wants the nuclear power plant closed, had ordered his health and environmental agencies to look into a series of outages at the plant and also a recently disclosed leak of radioactive tritium into the groundwater at the plant in Cortlandt.

He asked FERC to temporarily halt and then reopen hearings into AIM, Spectra Energy’s first in a series of controversial projects to expand the Algonquin pipeline that runs from New Jersey through Rockland County, under the Hudson River into Westchester right past Indian Point, through Putnam and on to New England.

In an order issued March 25, FERC pointed out that it had issued the go-ahead on the project March 3, 2015 and had already rejected eight timely requests for reconsideration.

The Commission considers pipeline safety as an important and serious matter. The New York DEC indicates that its and the other state agencies’ “investigations may reveal newly discovered information” related to risks posed by siting the AIM Project in the vicinity of the Indian Point facility which, in turn, “may warrant reopening the [Commission’s] record” in this proceeding. All of the incidents described in the

New York DEC’s pleading, including the tritium leak, occurred within the facility’s security barrier, at least 2,370 feet from the pipeline. The horizontal directional drill to install the pipeline under the Hudson River is over twice the distance from the Indian Point security barrier. The NRC’s analysis, which concluded that the AIM Project posed no increased risk, presumed catastrophic pipeline failure. There is nothing in the New York DEC’s current pleading that calls our findings regarding the safety of constructing a portion of the AIM Project in the vicinity of the Indian Point facility into question. Therefore, we find no basis for granting the requested reconsideration.

In addition, FERC pointed out that they had answered the Indian Point question twice — once after considering the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s findings and the plant operator’s findings; and again in a February ruling after reviewing the timely requests for rehearing that brought up the issue of the plant.

“New York DEC has not shown that absent a stay there will be irreparable injury to public safety,” they wrote in a letter signed by Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

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