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.

Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishermen outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli Navy Attacks Palestinian Fishermen In Gaza

Israeli navy ships attacked, Sunday, Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza territorial waters, in the southern part of the besieged coastal region, and near Gaza city.

Media sources said the navy ships fired many live rounds at the Palestinian fishing boats, in addition to using the high-powered cater cannon against them, near Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

They added that at least one boat sustained damage in the attack that took place less than six nautical miles from the Gaza shore.

The navy also fired live rounds and concussion grenades at Palestinian fishing boats, less than three nautical miles from the shore northwest of Gaza city, causing damage.

The attacks are part of the constant violations against the Palestinian fishermen, farmers, and workers in several parts of the coastal region.

Hamas condemns US Senate for measuring outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas condemns US Senate vote to retain embassy in Jerusalem

Hamas Spokesperson Hazem Qasim stated the following:

The US Senate’s near-unanimous vote to retain the US embassy in Jerusalem and keep the Trump administration’s recognition of the holy city as the capital of the Israeli occupation is a violation of international law and conventions. It is an actual participation in the Israeli aggression against Palestinian holy places.

Such a decision will not change history nor abolish the Palestinian people’s right to Jerusalem. Additionally, it will not stop the Palestinian people’s freedom struggle against the Israeli occupation nor push them to abandon their aspirations for an independent Palestinian state.

Hamas Spokesperson Hazem Qasim

Biden Puts Pressure on the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Biden Says U.S. Won’t Lift Sanctions Before Iran Returns To Nuclear Deal

By Peter Kenyon & Avie Schneider

Originally published on February 7, 2021 12:36 pm

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

The United States and Iran remain at odds over what comes next in their standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran’s supreme leader said Sunday that all U.S. sanctions must be lifted before Tehran will return to its commitment under the 2015 nuclear deal. And, in an interview airing Sunday, President Biden said the United States won’t lift sanctions first.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks to an audience of military commanders confirmed Tehran’s position that all sanctions must be lifted before Iran resumes full compliance with the deal’s limits to its nuclear program. The remarks were carried by Iranian state television.

In the past, President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran could return to compliance within hours of the U.S. sanctions being lifted.

But on Sunday Khamenei appeared to suggest a longer timeline. “The U.S. must lift all sanctions in practice, then we will do verification and see if the sanctions were lifted correctly, then we will return to our commitments,” he said.

In an interview, CBS Evening News’s Norah O’Donnell asked Biden: “Will the U.S. lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table?”

“No,” he responded.

“They have to stop enriching uranium first?” O’Donnell asked.

Biden nodded affirmatively.

The Trump administration re-imposed the sanctions on Iran in 2018 — as part of what U.S. officials called a “maximum pressure” campaign — after pulling the U.S. out of the agreement between Iran and six world powers. Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for eased sanctions.

Iranian semi-official media reported last month that Tehran was enriching nuclear fuel to 20% purity at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, breaching limits in the agreement. That level of enriched uranium can be used to make medical isotopes. Enrichment at 90% is required to make a nuclear weapon.

After years of escalating tensions under Trump, the Biden administration says it plans to work to “get back to diplomacy” in an effort to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said late last month that Trump-era policies had worsened an “escalating nuclear crisis” with Iran.

“Iran’s nuclear program has advanced dramatically over the course of the past couple years,” said Sullivan, who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal for the Obama administration. “They are significantly closer to a nuclear weapon than they were when the previous administration withdrew from the [nuclear deal]. Their ballistic missile capability has also advanced dramatically.”

U.S. tensions with Iran have been high for decades, and rose dramatically after the killing early last year of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Days later, Iran fired ballistic missiles at bases hosting U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq.

A top Iranian scientist believed to be responsible for developing the country’s military nuclear program was killed in a November 2020 attack Iranian officials blamed on Israel, prompting threats of retaliation from Iran’s top leaders.

Then in December, the Trump administration announced sanctions on two Iranian officials over the disappearance and probable death of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who went missing in Iran in 2007 during an unauthorized mission for the CIA.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Antichrist Returns Stolen Christian Property

Iraq Committee Investigation of Stolen Christian Property

02/07/2021 Iraq (International Christian Concern) –  Muqtada al-Sadr, a leading Shiite politician in Iraq, officially launched the committee to investigate the illegal seizing of Christian land and homes. The committee already received dozens of complaints and requests for examination. As part of this process, members are conducting on-site visits and conducting interviews.

Iraq’s Christian population, once at 1.25 million, is now a mere 250,000. Wars and ISIS have pushed Christians out of their homeland, while opportunistic neighbors and aggressors occupied their property. In 2015, as Christians fled, the International Organization for Migration found that nearly 9 in 10 (89%) had their homes confiscated. Many Christians, around 42%, lost the paperwork to their homes and subsequently their ability to reclaim their property. Even those that had the necessary paperwork occasionally found others had fabricated documents and possessed their land.

For interviews, please contact Alison Garcia: press@persecution.org.

Iran Puts Pressure on Babylon the Great

Iran takes ‘final’ stance on nuclear deal, says US must lift sanctions before Tehran rejoins

07 Feb 2021 06:04PM

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech, in Tehran, Iran, Jan 8, 2021. (File photo: Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS)

(Updated: 08 Feb 2021 05:22AM)

DUBAI: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday (Feb 7) that Tehran’s “final and irreversible” decision was to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal only if Washington lifts sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iranian state TV reported.

The comment, as well as US President Joe Biden’s separate statement that the United States would not lift sanctions simply to get Iran back to the negotiating table, appeared to be posturing by both sides as they weigh whether and how to revive the pact.

The deal between Iran and six major powers limited Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear arms – an ambition Iran has long denied having – in return for the easing of U.S. and other sanctions.

But former US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, denouncing it as one-sided in Iran’s favour, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

“Iran has fulfilled all its obligations under the deal, not the United States and the three European countries … If they want Iran to return to its commitments, the United States must in practice … lift all sanctions,” state TV quoted Khamenei as saying during a meeting with Air Force commanders.

“Then, after verifying whether all sanctions have been lifted correctly, we will return to full compliance … It is the irreversible and final decision and all Iranian officials have consensus over it.”

While Iran has insisted the United States first drop its sanctions before it resumes compliance, Washington has demanded the reverse.

In a segment of a CBS News interview taped on Friday and broadcast on Sunday, Biden said “no” when asked whether Washington would lift sanctions to get Tehran to the negotiating table.

Asked if Iran had to stop enriching uranium first, Biden nodded. It was not clear exactly what he meant, since Iran was allowed to enrich uranium to 3.67 per cent under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

A senior US official later said Biden meant Iran had to stop enriching beyond the deal’s limits, not that it had to stop enriching entirely before the two sides might talk.

“They have to stop enriching beyond the limits of the JCPOA,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There is nothing changed in the US position. The United States wants Iran to come back into (compliance with) its JCPOA commitments and if it does, the United States will do the same.”

Iran in January said it has resumed 20 per cent uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear site, well above the deal’s limit but far short of the 90 per cent that is weapons-grade.

In response to Trump’s withdrawal, Tehran has breached the deal’s key limits by building up its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, refining uranium to a higher level of purity and using advanced centrifuges for enrichment.

Biden has said if Tehran returned to strict compliance, Washington would follow suit and use that as a springboard to a broader agreement on other areas of concern for Washington including Iran’s missile development and regional activities.

Those activities include support for proxies in conflicts roiling countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Iran has said it could quickly reverse its JCPOA violations if US sanctions are removed but has ruled out talks on its missile programme and its influence in the Middle East, where Iran and Saudi Arabia have fought proxy wars for decades.

Iran Tramples Boldly Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Iran: Still a State-Sponsor of Terrorism, and Growing Bolder

In his Senate confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken affirmed his view of Iran as the largest state sponsor of terrorism, a distinction long recognized by American administrations of both parties. Indeed, Iran’s culpability in sowing sectarian chaos and conflict in its fractured neighborhood was recently highlighted by its own terrorist proxies and clients, from Hezbollah to Hamas. As a new administration seeks to make diplomatic headway with Tehran, it must also grapple with the regime’s relentless commitment to providing funds, weapons, and training to extremists across the Middle East.

Iran backs a diverse array of actors that use violence to stoke instability, allowing Tehran to increase its own influence. As a revisionist, revolutionary power, it maintains a stridently anti-Western and anti-American mission. The regime undermines U.S. interests by challenging freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, threatening the sovereignty of surrounding countries, and sponsoring terrorism both in the region and abroad. It is also openly dedicated to the annihilation of Israel. “We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime,” Iran’s supreme leader bluntly pledged last May.

Iran spends significant resources in pursuit of these objectives. It provided its most powerful proxy group, Hezbollah, with an estimated $700 million annually in recent years, according to U.S. sources—though this funding has diminished since Washington reimposed powerful sanctions on Tehran in 2018 after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran also helped Hezbollah amass an arsenal of some 120,000-140,000 rockets and missiles, including over a hundred long-range precision missiles, as detailed in a 2018 report by JINSA’s Hybrid Warfare Policy Project. In December, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed that the group’s arsenal of precision missiles had doubled since the previous year. “Any target across the area of occupied Palestine that we want to hit accurately—we are able to hit accurately,” he boasted.

Hezbollah has long worked with Iran to acquire precision munitions, which pose a distinctly greater threat than their unguided counterparts. They can be used to more accurately target critical infrastructure, like a power grid, desalinization plant, or airport, in order to weaken an opponent’s capabilities or create mass casualties. Nasrallah himself warned in 2016 that a strike on ammonia storage tanks in northern Israel would inflict damage similar to a nuclear weapon.

Iranian officials have openly claimed credit for Hezbollah’s arms buildup. “All the missile capabilities of Gaza and Lebanon have been supported by Iran, and they are the front line for confrontation,” a top Iranian commander said recently.

Gazan terrorist groups have undoubtedly benefited from such help. Iran “provides up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups,” among them Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to US estimates.

In December, Israel ordered the seizure of $4 million it said was sent from Iran to Hamas, allegedly to pay terrorists and manufacture arms. Days later, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar recounted receiving $22 million in suitcases following his first meeting with Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike last year.

In comments reported by Al-Masdar News in January, an Islamic Jihad leader similarly lauded Soleimani for “equipping, training, preparing, financing” and otherwise aiding “the Palestinian resistance,” and recalled how the group’s fighters fired “Iranian Fajr missiles sent by the martyr Qassem Soleimani” at Tel Aviv.

Iran’s sectarian influence is also felt in Iraq, where Tehran has provided funds, weapons, ammunition, and training to Shiite militias that have targeted U.S. and coalition troops focused on combating ISIS. These militiamen have been accused of carrying out abuses against Sunni Iraqis, including killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions. Thousands deployed to Syria at Iran’s behest to support the brutal regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran has additionally sent arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and maintains a complex relationship with Al Qaeda, whose second-in-command was reportedly assassinated in August by Israeli operatives in Tehran, where he was living freely.

Notably, Iran’s bankrolling of terrorism was hampered by the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, with Iran’s president saying in September that the country lost $150 billion in revenue since 2018. According to reports, Hezbollah experienced “a sharp fall in its revenue,” while funding to Shiite militias in Iraq was “dramatically disrupted” amid sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

President Joe Biden’s team is expected to take a different approach, having made clear their intent to pursue diplomacy with Tehran, which is reportedly already underway. This approach also includes the possibility of sanctions relief. Yet with increased resources, Iran could divert more funds to terrorist groups. That would be an odious outcome, one that the new administration must take into account in its determination to pursue negotiations. Iran should not be further empowered to sow terror and destabilize the Middle East.

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Richard Natonski served as head of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and is a former observer to U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Middle East. He is also a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s (JINSA) Board of Advisors and Hybrid Warfare Policy Project.