A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

 

Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant GuardStory by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment
Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009
This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.
When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.
The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.
“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.
This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.
Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.
“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.
Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.
Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.
“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.
The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.
“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.
Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.
Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”
“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.
Training concluded Thursday.

Pakistan warns India planning to start the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Pakistan warns India planning ‘surgical strike’ against it

Associated PressDecember 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s foreign minister has accused neighboring India of planning a “surgical strike” against his Islamic nation. The minister spoke during a televised news conference in the United Arab Emirates on Friday. He did not offer evidence to support his claim but added that Pakistan is fully prepared to respond to any such attack from India, which he said could endanger peace in the region. Qureshi is currently on a two-day visit for talks with senior UAE government officials. Nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India often accuse one another of planning attacks and have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain. 

The China nuclear horn continues to grow: Daniel 7

Report estimates Chinese nuclear stockpile at 350 warheads

Mike Yeo

MELBOURNE, Australia — A paper published by the Chicago, Illinois-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has estimated that China has 350 nuclear warheads, significantly more than that estimated by the U.S. Defense Department.

The report, written by Hans Kristensen, the director at the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, and Matt Korda, a research associate at FAS, arrived at the number by counting both operational warheads and newer weapons “still in development.”

These weapons include hypersonic missiles, silo-based and road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, and their submarine-launched equivalents, bringing the total number of nuclear warheads to more that the “low 200s” estimated by the Pentagon in its 2020 report on China’s military.

The think tank’s report also said an estimated 272 of the 350 warheads in the People’s Liberation Army are operational. That estimate includes 204 land-based missile warheads, 48 submarine-launched warheads and 20 aircraft-delivered gravity bombs.

The latter mission had been dormant for a while, although it has recently been reconstituted with China said to be developing an air-launched ballistic missile with a possible nuclear capability. A Chinese Xi’an H-6 bomber was recently seen carrying what is believed to be a mock-up of a hypersonic boost-glide missile, although its development status is unclear.

The estimate of 350 nuclear warheads does not include the suspected air-launched ballistic/hypersonic missile, nor does it include the multiple, independent warheads that will be fitted on the DF-5C ICBM, potentially further increasing the size of China’s nuclear stockpile even after accounting for the retirement of older systems.

Nevertheless, the report noted that the size of the Chinese nuclear stockpile is still significantly below that of the United States and Russia, which have thousands of nuclear weapons in their respective stockpiles. The authors wrote that claims by the Trump administration’s special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, that China is striving for a form of “nuclear parity” with the U.S. and Russia “appears to have little basis in reality.”

It also added that China has traditionally maintained a low alert level for its nuclear forces, with most warheads at a central storage facility and smaller numbers kept in regional equivalents.

The Pentagon concurs with this assessment, adding that launchers, missiles and warheads are kept separate, although it added that PLA Rocket Force brigades conduct “combat readiness duty” and “high alert duty” drills, which are believed to include “assigning a missile battalion to be ready to launch, and rotating to standby positions as much as monthly for unspecified periods of time.”

China refers to its nuclear posture as at a “moderate state of alert,” with the report suggesting that in peacetime this “might involve designated units to be deployed in high combat-ready condition with nuclear warheads in nearby storage sites under control of the Central Military Commission that could be released to the unit quickly if necessary.”

Babylon the Great’s nukes are hacked

Harrer–Bloomberg/Getty Images

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Agency Hacked as Part of Massive Cyber-Attack

The U.S. nuclear weapons agency and at least three states were hacked as part of a suspected Russian cyber-attack that struck a number of federal government agencies, according to people with knowledge of the matter, indicating widening reach of one of the biggest cybersecurity breaches in recent memory.

Microsoft said that its systems were also exposed as part of the attack.

Hackers with ties to the Russian government are suspected to be behind a well coordinated attack that took advantage of weaknesses in the U.S. supply chain to penetrate several federal agencies, including departments of Homeland Security, Treasury, Commerce and State. While many details are still unclear, the hackers are believed to have gained access to networks by installing malicious code in a widely used software program from SolarWinds Corp., whose customers include government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, according to the company and cybersecurity experts.

“This is a patient, well-resourced, and focused adversary that has sustained long duration activity on victim networks,” the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a bulletin that signaled widening alarm over the the breach. The hackers posed a “grave risk” to federal, state and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and the private sector, the bulletin said. The agency said the attackers demonstrated “sophistication and complex tradecraft.”

The Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains America’s nuclear stockpile, were targeted as part of the larger attack, according to a person familiar with the matter. An ongoing investigation has found the hack didn’t affect “mission-essential national security functions,” Shaylyn Hynes, a Department of Energy spokeswoman, said in a statement.

“At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only,” Hynes said. The hack of the nuclear agency was reported earlier by Politico.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said the company had found malicious code “in our environment, which we isolated and removed.”

“We have not found evidence of access to production services or customer data,” he said in a tweet. “Our investigations, which are ongoing, have found absolutely no indications that our systems were used to attack others.” Reuters had earlier reported that Microsoft was hacked and that its products were used to further the attacks.

In addition, two people familiar with the broader government investigation into the attack said three state governments were breached, though they wouldn’t identify the states. A third person familiar with the probe confirmed that state governments were hacked but didn’t provide a number.

Biden’s Pledge

While President Donald Trump has yet to publicly address the hack, President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement Thursday on “what appears to be a massive cybersecurity breach affecting potentially thousands of victims, including U.S. companies and federal government entities.”

“I want to be clear: My administration will make cybersecurity a top priority at every level of government — and we will make dealing with this breach a top priority from the moment we take office,” Biden said, pledging to impose “substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks.”

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.

Hynes, the Department of Energy spokeswoman, said that efforts were immediately taken to mitigate the risk from the hack, including disconnecting software “identified as being vulnerable to this attack.”

–With assistance from Ari Natter and Dina Bass.

Iran builds up her nukes: Daniel 8

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid US tensions

Updated 18 December 2020 AP December 18, 2020 06:44

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the US over its atomic program, satellite photos obtained Friday by The Associated Press show.

Iran has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, whose discovery by the West in 2009 came in an earlier round of brinkmanship before world powers struck the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

While the purpose of the building remains unclear, any work at Fordo likely will trigger new concern in the waning days of the Trump administration before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, Iran is building at its Natanz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion in July there that Tehran described as a sabotage attack.

“Any changes at this site will be carefully watched as a sign of where Iran’s nuclear program is headed,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who studies Iran.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors are in Iran as part of the nuclear deal, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Construction on the Fordo site began in late September. Satellite images obtained from Maxar Technologies by the AP show the construction taking place at a northwest corner of the site, near the holy Shiite city of Qom some 90 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Tehran.

A Dec. 11 satellite photo shows what appears to be a dug foundation for a building with dozens of pillars. Such pillars can be used in construction to support buildings in earthquake zones.

The construction site northwest of Fordo’s underground facility, built deep inside a mountain to protect it from potential airstrikes. The site is near other support and research-and-development buildings at Fordo.

Among those buildings is Iran’s National Vacuum Technology Center. Vacuum technology is a crucial component of Iran’s uranium-gas centrifuges, which enrich uranium.

A Twitter account called Observer IL earlier this week published an image of Fordo showing the construction, citing it as coming from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Research Institute.

The AP later reached the Twitter user, who identified himself as a retired Israeli Defense Forces soldier with a civil engineering background. He asked that his name not be published over previous threats he received online. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute acknowledged taking the satellite photo.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program, its regional policies and other issues in withdrawing from the accord, though the deal focused entirely on Tehran’s atomic program.

When the US ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits as a series of escalating incidents pushed the two countries to the brink of war at the beginning of the year. Tensions still remain high.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium at Fordo and instead make it “a nuclear, physics and technology center.”

“This location was a major sticking point in negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal,” Lewis said. “The US insisted Iran close it while Iran’s supreme leader said keeping it was a red line.”

Since the deal’s collapse, Iran has resumed enrichment there.

Shielded by the mountains, the facility also is ringed by anti-aircraft guns and other fortifications. It is about the size of a football field, large enough to house 3,000 centrifuges, but small and hardened enough to lead US officials to suspect it had a military purpose when they exposed the site publicly in 2009.

As of now, Iran is enriching uranium up to 4.5%, in violation of the accord’s limit of 3.67%. Iran’s parliament has passed a bill that requires Tehran to enrich up to 20%, a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. The bill also would throw out IAEA inspectors.

Experts say Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium stockpiled for at least two nuclear weapons, if it chose to pursue them. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani opposed the bill, the country’s Guardian Council later tweaked and approved it. The bill seeks to pressure European nations to provide relief from crippling US sanctions.

Meanwhile, an Iranian scientist who created its military nuclear program two decades ago recently was killed in a shooting outside of Tehran. Iran has blamed Israel, which has long been suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, for the attack. Israel has not comment.

Iran’s Khamenei vows payback for US killing of Soleimani

Iran’s Khamenei vows ‘definite’ revenge for US killing of Soleimani

Iran’s supreme leader said revenge for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani is a definite plan, as he called on regional nations to push for the ouster of US forces.

Al-Monitor Staff

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised to avenge the blood of his most favored military commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike outside Baghdad’s international airport in January. Khamenei the revenge on those who ordered the assassination and executed it is “definite,” but he did not specify any timing.

The Soleimani killing, directly ordered by President Donald Trump, pushed Iran and the United States to the brink of war. Five days into the assassination, Iran targeted the Ain al-Asad airbase hosting US soldiers in neighboring Iraq with over a dozen missiles. The attack, which was reportedly launched with a prior notice, killed no one but did cause US troops to suffer traumatic brain injuries.

During his speech Dec. 16, Khamenei looked back at the strike as just a “slap,” noting that part of the real revenge for “the national hero” will be exacted with the ouster of US forces from the region. That goal, he argued, will be gained with regional “resistance,” a term Iran uses to describe a wide network of proxies it has been nurturing and funding across the Middle East to advance its agenda, including a struggle against the US military presence. 

Iran’s regional activities in recent years has been at the heart of Western worries, repeatedly raised during talks that culminated in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Tehran, however, has persistently resisted negotiating the matter, claiming that such activities are conducted at the behest of sovereign governments.

The JCPOA itself has been hanging by a thread since the US withdrawal and a series of executive orders by Trump in and after May 2018, which led to a reintroduction of crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Trump’s departure from the White House in January and signals by President-elect Joe Biden about rejoining the accord have boosted hopes in the ending months of President Hassan Rouhani’s administration for negotiating sanctions relief and salvaging the fragile deal.

Nonetheless, Khamenei, who has the final say in Iran’s key foreign policy matters, noted in his speech that the Rouhani government’s priority should be attempts to “neutralize” the impact of the sanctions rather than have them lifted: “Do not trust the enemy,” he said, downplaying possible talks with the incoming American president two days after Rouhani had suggested readiness to negotiate the revival of the JCPOA if the United States acts toward the same goal.

Khamenei highlighted the Islamic Republic’s historical mistrust in US administrations no matter who is president. “Those are promises by the evils,” he said in what seemed to be a piece of advice for Rouhani. “And this [hostility] is not unique to Trump, whose departure you may think could put an end to everything. No! [President Barack] Obama as well treated the Iranian nation with evilness.”

Israel prepares for assassinations outside the temple walls: Revelation 11

Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Aviv Kochavi, 3 September 2019 [Twitter]

Report: Israel identifies 300 Hamas, resistance members to target in next war

December 17, 2020 at 9:05 am

Chief of staff of the Israeli army, Aviv Kochavi, has identified 300 members of Hamas and other Palestinian armed factions, including Islamic Jihad, to target in any future war, Israel’s Maariv reported yesterday.

“Israel has a plan that aims to disrupt the enemy’s [Hamas] operations and shorten the duration of the fighting, unlike previous operations on the Gaza Strip, which lasted for more than a month,” the newspaper added. “While the option of collapsing the Hamas rule is not on the table, the Israeli army could achieve a clear victory against the Islamic movement,” the report said.

Israeli occupation forces recently launched maneuvers on various war scenarios in the occupied Gaza Strip, where the army had estimated that it could “achieve the goals set by Kochavi”.

Israel’s last war on Gaza was in 2014 when the occupation state killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, the majority children. However in 2019 Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, killing him and sparking the worst bout of fighting with the resistance since 2014.